Sen. Thad Altman Committed To Protecting, Preserving Indian River Lagoon
By Capital Soup // June 11, 2015
champion of the Indian River Lagoon
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Senator Thad Altman (R-Rockledge), who represents Brevard and Indian River counties, said Wednesday despite special interest attacks to the contrary, the revitalization of the Indian River Lagoon remains his top legislative priority, in addition to the restoration of the Florida Everglades, as week two of special session continues in the Capitol.
The Senate’s proposed budget allocates $37 million for Florida Forever, the state’s land acquisition program, which was contested by Altman who filed an amendment during the 2015 session to fully fund the program.
The state senator to the Space and Treasure Coasts has long been a champion of the Indian River Lagoon. During the 2014 legislative session he secured $10 million for the dredging of the northern lagoon, alongside an additional $10 million for dredging the Eau Gallie River to aid in the restoration of this unique natural resource.
He is currently fighting to secure an additional $20 million for these projects.
Senator Altman continues to advocate to secure funds for the Indian River Lagoon saying, “the removal of latent muck in the system is critical to the lagoon’s health.”
Nutrients and pollutants in muck generate algae blooms that damage sea grasses and other marine life, which are essential to the health of the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem.
As a member of the Senate Subcommittee on General Government Appropriations, which has been tasked with the initial implementation of Amendment 1, Altman is also committed to being a voice for Florida voters who approved the constitutional amendment to dedicate money to environmental conservation with an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote.
The amendment states money from the voter initiative must fund the “Land Acquisition Trust Fund” and can only be used for “the acquisition and improvement of land, water areas and related property interests.”